Helpful ReplyNew Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build Day 3

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Jim Roseberry
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/03/28 18:12:19 (permalink)
kitekrazy1
Amazing how impractical CPU coolers are these days.  If one does not overclock stock coolers are sufficient.  If they weren't Intel and AMD would be in trouble with a lot of RMAs.



Sufficient as in keeping the CPU cool enough... to avoid problems.
What stock coolers are not great at is keeping the CPU cool *AND* being super quiet.

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
jim@studiocat.com
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#31
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/03/28 18:29:24 (permalink)
Jim nailed it - I went with this behemoth of a cooler to be cool AND silent. I am stunned at just how quiet the Noctura fans are!
 
The case lid won't actually fit though - I may have a hole cut out and mount a speaker grill or something on the top for the cooler to sit under. :)
#32
Jim Roseberry
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/03/28 21:17:19 (permalink)
Yeah, the larger CPU coolers are usually 1/4" to 1/2" too tall for a 4U Rack Case.

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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#33
fireberd
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/03/28 22:36:07 (permalink)
Even with a mid tower some of the coolers are too big.  One reason I used a liquid cooler.  For all practical purposes my new build is "dead" quiet and CPU temperatures idle around 25C and rarely get over low 30's according to CPUID Monitor.
 

"GCSG Productions"
Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Nashville Telecaster, Bass, etc. 
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#34
filtersweep
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/03/28 22:45:29 (permalink)
It has been fun and educational to follow your build. I did my first ever build over the summer (a 6700k baby that seems so 2016 now!). It was a cool project and I will definitely do it again though was surprised at how many things do just not quite go as smoothly as I thought they would. I did it alone and mounting the water cooler was really a three handed task, plus I had to take it out and reinstall after I realized the drive bay for one of the ssds could not be accessed with it in place! That, along with screws that were too short to mount the fan to the case, side panel that took forever to get in place and motherboard mounting screws that I swear would strip if you looked at them wrong made me appreciate the art and patience needed to get the job done. Fortunately mine posted on first try and has been running beautifully. If I had too disassemble to flash the BIOS it might have gotten ugly!
#35
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/03/29 00:22:01 (permalink)
filtersweep - thanks for your story I don't feel so alone! :)
 
Happy to say I have it home and put in the GTX1080 and everything is running fine. Boots in about 5 seconds, but I think I can cut that in half with some BIOS tweeks; I've never seen anything boot this fast.
 
I have a bit more to do and will document the final touches, but I am off to the races! The chicken/egg issue with a BIOS update being needed to use my CPU sucked, but I was fortunate to have some resources to address it. Some of the Gigabyte boards now support Q-Flash+, which can flash your BIOS with no CPU or memory installed! In 5 years, that's what I'm going for! lol
 
BTW, if you are looking to make your DAW quieter you HAVE to look into the Noctura fans. Between those fans and the fact I have no traditional hard drive installed, you can't even tell this thing is running using your ears! My old build is really noisy in comparison...
#36
azslow3
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/03/29 09:58:59 (permalink)
smallstonefan
BTW, if you are looking to make your DAW quieter you HAVE to look into the Noctua fans. Between those fans and the fact I have no traditional hard drive installed, you can't even tell this thing is running using your ears! My old build is really noisy in comparison...

Really good fans.
 
But all "dead quite" stories should not be perceived as absolute trues. My S12A ULN (with LNA attached) is audible (for me, in my room, during silent night). It is quieter then any other case fan I tried before, but it is not absolute silent.
The only absolute silent component which potentially can create noise in my current system is MSI GTX1050Ti. It is simply not turning on fans till in heavy duty   I have made my choice based on power consumption specification, it is almost a half of 1060 and still manageable to be cooled by the air flow in the case. Not suitable for real gamers, but definitively more powerful than fan-less low-end boards.
My second success was BeQuite DarkPower. It is not audible for me when not under load, with closed case and away at least 1m (under all that conditions only, otherwise it is audible...). I have Pure Power on other PC and I had 2 Seasonic units. All of them are/was relatively noisy for me. I was thinking about fan-less and semi-silent PS, but they have one common problematic point: nominal temperature inside and I have found many reports the circuit can be noisy (my surge protector has started to disturb me once I have tried to fix it on table... may be I am just paranoid about noise...).
 
I still have long way to go, with SSDs (I have HDDs hanging on ribbon strips), CPU cooler (probably Noctua, but nominal noise level in the documentation is way to hi. 2 watter coolers I have observed was noisy. May be choosing CPU which can be cooled with case fans is the only way). And finally I hope to update the system itself, it was not top even 8 years ago.
 
But everything is "dead quite" when comparing to watter cooled server racks I have to visit now
 

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#37
fireberd
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/03/29 10:32:39 (permalink)
azslow, I do not have a separate video card, using the Intel Video in the i7 6700K.
The case is a BeQuiet Silent Base 600.  The liquid cooler is Deepcool Captain 120EX.  I use a Samsung EVO 850 SSD.  Putting my ear to the front or top of the case, I cannot hear any fan noise. 

"GCSG Productions"
Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Nashville Telecaster, Bass, etc. 
ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
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#38
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/03/29 13:46:20 (permalink)
Under load I can hear the fans just a bit, but I haven't started tweaking settings yet. The BIOS will let you make stepped speeds for each fan header based on a temp; not sure I'm ready to go down that rabbit hole! :)
 
But man on man is this machine FAST. I'm getting a boot in 3 to 5 seconds! I've only played Overwatch on it, but I'm in the process now of installing everything and hope to open a DAW project this weekend...
#39
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/02 16:30:28 (permalink)
OK I thought I'd wrap this up...
 
Once the firmware was updated all of my hardware seemed to work fine. I was very nervous when it came time to updating the firmware on my Apollo to support Thunderbolt. I originally bought this as an open box and someone had enabled the Thunderbolt card, which meant it wouldn't work with Firewire. I had to use my daughter's Mac to connect to it and reflash. I wasn't sure how this would end up.
 
The first time I installed the UAD drivers my Apollo was not recognized. I rebooted into the Bios and changed a few Thunderbolt options in the Bios and tried again. This time, the Apollo was recognized and received a prompt to update the firmware when I ran the UAD install. The firmware update went smooth as silk, and both the Apollo and my two UAD Octo PCEi cards were found and setup perfectly. I haven't had a chance to give this a full workout, but so far everything is running great!
 
A few software hiccups to work out. 
 
1. My Sonarworks still is broken. I followed the process to un-register my plugin on my old machine but I am now waiting for a new key to install Reference, headphone calibration, and system wide. I don't see any issues with this once I get my key(s) but had I known it would take a few days, I would have started that process sooner; I can't mix without it...
 
2. BFD3 doesn't recognize all of my add-ons in the Library drop downs for Presets or Kits. They are all there, but I can't sort by kit - which is a huge problem. BFD tech support told me the solution is to re-install all of my kits! :( Man, I was hoping to avoid that and thought that having them all installed on an external drive would solve that. I'm very disappointed that this happened as I have a LOT of kits. I hope to wrap up the re-install of them all today (fingers crossed).
 
3. I can't get Blue Cats gain suite to be recognized in Ableton Live. This sucks because my project I'm trying to wrap up uses a number of these, and I need to find the gain values if I'm going to switch controls. Not sure what to do here - but may have to boot up my old machine, open the project, write down the gain values, and switch components.
 
4. I think Izotope has issues with their installers. I had problems on my old machine but hoped that my new machine would solve that. DDLY and Morphius just won't install, and I have had issues with Nuetron and Ozone. Half tempted to sell those, but hope to get them working.
 
That's it! Well, and putting this thing in my desk and cleaning up the bomb that went off in the studio during this process. The speed of this machine STUNS me - plugins load sooooo fast, as do libraries. Everything is on SSD drives except my Dropbox drive. I have Dropbox pro which is 1TB and I use about 850MB of that so far, so that sits on a traditional spin drive. I might change that out for an SSD just for the noise factor. I chose the quietest GTX1080 video card I could find, and I'm happy to report it is very quiet.
 
Oh, on the topic of noise - this machine is QUIET! The front 120mm and the 120mm on the cooling tower or almost inaudible. The back 80mm fans stay off most of the time, but when the motherboard fires them up they are still super quiet. Since all but Dropbox are on SSDs, there is no drive noise. And the boot time to login is roughly 5 seconds.
 
Here are a few more pictures.
 
1. Here is the GTX 1080 video card with my two UAD Octo PCIe cards. Not much room left. The leftmost high speed PCEi slot is disabled due to the NVMS M.2 memory boot drive. That's OK because the UAD cards are PCIe 1x. The two blue cables you see below go to a back panel I installed that has two USB 3 ports. So I have the extra two in back, and the two in front plus the ports that come in the standard back panel.
 

 
2. Below you can see the mess of cables that are right in front of the CPU cooler. If I did this again, I would probably by 5.24" adapters and mounted all of the drives in the far right drive bay. The spacing for the cables was really tight here (I cut myself a few times messing around here) and this blocks some airflow for the CPU. This doesn't bother me enough to redo though! :)
 

 
3. The final build! In the old days I would spend another hour zip tieing cables and cleaning things up, but I'm ready to be done (for now). Perhaps when I upgrade something in the future I'll do this, thought I'm not seeing a need to upgrade anything for a year or two.
 

 
If I think of anything else of value I'll post it, and I'm happy to answer any questions but I'm calling this build officially done! :)
#40
fireberd
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/02 17:20:03 (permalink)
I had zero problems with my Izotope apps.  I have Ozone 5 and 6, and Nectar elements.   They were all on iLok when I switched to my new i7 6700K build (I have since moved them off of the iLok). I have a couple of their free VST's too that work OK.
 
I had to reauthorize Addictive Drums (may have had to reauthorize Guitar Rig 5, don't remember).
 
My X-Touch and MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid required "Windows" to reinstall the devices but that was only because they were on different ports with the new build.
 
I have Sonar, Studio One 3 and Abelton Lite 9. They all worked OK after the hardware upgrade.
 

"GCSG Productions"
Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Nashville Telecaster, Bass, etc. 
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#41
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/03 16:15:12 (permalink)
I finally got Ozone working. It took awhile with a few steps, but basically rather than install the Music Product Bundle (which puts stuff all over the place) I installed each component one by one so I could specify where to install the VSTs. I also deactivated some Izotope licenses on my iLok and only activated the MP bundle.
 
DDLY and Morphius still won't work, but I can live without them.
 
My project plan really helped! I probably have 10 hours into re-installs but since I had a plan and I prepared ahead of time, it went really well overall. I think I should backup my boot drive before doing anything else... :)
#42
fireberd
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/03 18:17:07 (permalink)
I moved my Izotope stuff off of iLok.  I've had some problems with iLok (not yet on the new build) and the only thing I have left on iLok is POD Farm 2 and a couple of items I don't use.  Sadly, I can't get POD Farm off of iLok or I could do away with it entirely.

"GCSG Productions"
Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Nashville Telecaster, Bass, etc. 
ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
Sonar Platinum/CbB. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
Ozone 5,  Studio One 3
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#43
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/03 18:56:54 (permalink)
I am sort of wishing I had stayed challenge/response with the Izotope products... :/
#44
DeeringAmps
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/04 12:44:45 (permalink)
"I think I should backup my boot drive before doing anything else"
Really
I would have been burning images all along just in case something went sideways.
An ounce of prevention...
Glad it all went well for you!
T

Tom Deering
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#45
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/04 13:10:01 (permalink)
You're scaring me Tom!!! :)
 
Overall, not too difficult for this one. Had the motherboard not needed a Bios update this would have been pretty darn smooth.
 
The back panel USB3 doesn't seem reliable - I might pull that out. Otherwise, I am rocking!
 
Next up is to fire up my big project that caused me to update in the first place and see how it behaves. Been a bit nervous for that but I'm ready.
#46
fireberd
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/04 13:26:40 (permalink)
What is "not reliable" about the USB 3.0 ports?
 
There are documented instances of USB 2.0 devices not working or not working properly on USB 3.0 ports.  MOTU USB 2.0 devices are one that can have dropouts on a USB 3.0 port.  My MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid is one, there is a long thread on the gearslutz forum with users reporting similar problems with MOTU units.  I have a 3 1/2" floppy drive that is USB 2.0 and won't even attempt to connect to a USB 3.0 port.  I use the floppy drive to load MIDI song files on floppy discs for my wife's Hammond Organ that has a floppy diskette drive.  Neither of the two devices I have will work on a USB 2.0 external hub connected to a USB 3.0 port.  I had to install a PCIe USB 2.0 port card.

"GCSG Productions"
Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Nashville Telecaster, Bass, etc. 
ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
Sonar Platinum/CbB. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
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#47
Jim Roseberry
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/04 13:39:56 (permalink)
It's important to note that prior to Z77 motherboards, literally ALL USB-3 ports were provided via 3rd-party controllers.  USB-3 had not yet been integrated into the Intel chipset.
This is the reason for many compatibility issues with USB-2 devices.
Liken the situation to using a non-TI chipset Firewire controller with a Firewire audio interface.
It opens the door to compatibility issues...

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
jim@studiocat.com
www.studiocat.com
#48
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/04 13:46:12 (permalink)
Thanks guys! So I hooked up a 2 port USB 3 back panel and attached it to the header of the motherboard. I had a USB stick (so probably USB 2) in the back, but the drive would periodically disconnect and reconnect. That makes me leary to plug anything important into it...
#49
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/04 18:32:00 (permalink)
OK, fired up my big ass project and all plugins loaded! I did have to re-choose my Sonarworks Adams profile, but that was easy. 
 
The project actually runs with buffers set to 256! I was running at 1024 before, and still getting some stuttering at times and had to run at 2048 to make it solid. Moving the buffers up to 512 and it is running rock solid so far!
 
Wow, I am blown away. 
#50
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/14 20:43:00 (permalink)
Update:
 
I ran into some issues last night were my machine was acting like I wasn't using enough buffers or was running out of CPU on a project that should run fine. I found I had a bang mark for a system device. I started installing all manufacturer drivers and when installed the Thunderbolt driver the bang mark went away.
 
I'm anxious to fire up the project again and see what happens.
 
I have on more bang mark and I finally figured out it was my mouse. The mouse works fine, but I want ZERO bang marks in the devices. I couldn't solve it with an install and it happens on multiple USB ports for this mouse so I bought a new mouse and will try tonight.
 
All in all it's a great system, but still shaking out a few details...
 
EDIT: Windows Creator Edition was installed two days ago and I HOPE that's not the culprit. :/
#51
davdud101
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/04/15 03:40:44 (permalink)
fireberd
Even with a mid tower some of the coolers are too big.  One reason I used a liquid cooler.  For all practical purposes my new build is "dead" quiet and CPU temperatures idle around 25C and rarely get over low 30's according to CPUID Monitor.
 
Always been freaked out about liquid cooling. If it's set up right, it does an AMAZING job. But MAN, it's pricey!! And if something goes wrong, the potential for everything to be fried is huge.
It seems like it should really be doable for WAY cheaper at equal or nearing quality, but the kits that are out there are so danged expensive that I'll gladly trade off a little bit of noise and a little warmer CPU for keeping my wallet not-too-slim, especially since I'm not recording in a very "sound-sterile" environment anyway. But I suppose one can't risk hundreds of dollars worth of electronic equipment on a cheap jerry-rigged cooling system.
 
I've been thinking about a system where the PC is elevated a bit, and a Stirling engine would react to the heat from the processor - somehow - and that engine would then be used to draw the water through the tubes into the cooling system - helped a bit by gravity - and then be pushed back upwards into the system. Perhaps the cool-water side could also be used as the "cool air"-side of the Stirling engine, producing an even greater difference between the hot and cold points. Of course then the system would probably need a small kickstart when booting every time.
 
It probably wouldn't work immediately, and it'd take a LOT of tweaking, but if it could be made to work it seems like it'd be a great, cool-looking semi-mechanical system. Question is whether it'd be cost-effective.
Discuss.
(Not meaning to hijack the thread! Just wanna see what someone thinks, as I've been thinking about this for about 2 weeks now!)

Gonna move this into another topic. I'd like to discuss it a bit.
post edited by davdud101 - 2017/04/15 15:54:00

 
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#52
fireberd
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/04/15 10:40:27 (permalink)
I'm not referring to the huge "water" coolers with external pumps/reservoirs hoses that go outside the case, etc.  What I'm referring to is the small internal liquid coolers (basically use auto anti-freeze liquid coolant) with a small radiator and fans and a small coolant pump on the CPU heatsink. 

"GCSG Productions"
Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Nashville Telecaster, Bass, etc. 
ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
Sonar Platinum/CbB. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
Ozone 5,  Studio One 3
ISRC Registered
Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E. Assn.
#53
davdud101
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/04/15 15:53:17 (permalink)
fireberd
I'm not referring to the huge "water" coolers with external pumps/reservoirs hoses that go outside the case, etc.  What I'm referring to is the small internal liquid coolers (basically use auto anti-freeze liquid coolant) with a small radiator and fans and a small coolant pump on the CPU heatsink.


I think I've seen those... you're talking about the ones that appear to have two tubes, a fan, and a small pad that fits over the CPU? How do they work? Where does the fan actually mount?

 
Mics: MXL 990, 2 x MXL Tempo XLRs, Cobalt Co9, SM48, (soon) iSK Starlight
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#54
fireberd
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - documenting the build 2017/04/15 17:44:02 (permalink)
The fan or fans depending on the size of the radiator mount to the radiator.  The radiator can be the size of one fan or two and it mounts either to the top (in the case of a double fan size) or the back of the case where the case fan usually mounts.  
 
Here is the link to the one I have:
http://www.gamerstorm.com...016-04/1286_5089.shtml

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#55
Rob[at]Sound-Rehab
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/16 15:01:48 (permalink)
smallstonefan

 
I have on more bang mark and I finally figured out it was my mouse. The mouse works fine, but I want ZERO bang marks in the devices.


What's a bang mark?

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#56
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/16 15:46:48 (permalink)
Hi there,
 
When you look at your devices (Windows 10 > Right-click Start > choose Device Manager) any device not installed properly will have a little yellow diamond with an exclamation mark it we. In programming terms, we call an exclamation mark a "bang mark". 
 
Even with my new mouse I'm still getting a bang mark on the USB Device entry for the mouse. Very odd - not sure how to get rid of it at this point.
#57
fireberd
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/16 18:13:30 (permalink)
The "bang mark" must be a relatively new term.  
I worked as a programmer years ago at NASA Goddard Space Center, and then later on IBM "big iron". 

"GCSG Productions"
Franklin D-10 Pedal Steel Guitar (primary instrument). Nashville Telecaster, Bass, etc. 
ASUS Maximus VIII Hero M/B, i7 6700K CPU, 16GB Ram, SSD and conventional hard drives, Win 10 Pro and Win 10 Pro Insider Pre-Release
Sonar Platinum/CbB. MOTU 896MK3 Hybrid, Tranzport, X-Touch, JBL LSR308 Monitors,  
Ozone 5,  Studio One 3
ISRC Registered
Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E. Assn.
#58
smallstonefan
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/17 01:03:17 (permalink)
Wow, interesting! I've known it since maybe the mid-90s; not sure how long it's been around... :)
#59
scook
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Re: New Thunderbolt PC Build - FINAL 2017/04/17 01:49:59 (permalink)
Has to be older than 1991 when the poem "Waka Waka Bang Splat" was written by Fred Bremmer and Steve Kroese

< > ! * ' ' #
^ " ` $ $ -
! * = @ $ _
% * < > ~ # 4
& [ ] . > . /
| { , , SYSTEM HALTED
 
I first heard about bang and others from the poem while working with Unix in the early 90s.
#60
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